Tag Archives: tech

Mega

Mega is a cloud storage that offers secure file storage, they are my favorite cloud storage provider because of this.  For free, you get 50GB of space, there are different tiers of storage of all the way up to 40TB.  Mega is very secure because all of the encryption is done before it reaches their servers (AES), so naturally you files are safe and secure.  Whats also nice is Mega is quite fast, I will add a file to my sync folder – and a few seconds later it will be transferred to my other computers.


Mega is my favorite cloud storage service, they offer top of the line security for free and with 50GB of space.  I have not even gotten close to the 50GB limit, but when I need to transfer a bunch of large files – its nice knowing that I can do it for free.  Also it is great for using it with Keepass, an open source and free password manager.  It lets you have access to your passwords and secure notes on any computer without having to worry about your data being hacked as much.  Just don’t store your bitcoin backups here, it may sound like a really good idea – but for large amounts of bitcoin it is safer to never keep the backups where they are connected to the internet (Instead use a thumb drive,USB drive or print it out).

Lighthouse

Lighhouse is a new way of crowdfunding projects using the Blockchain, it’s an open source project without a company behind it.  With Lighthouse, there is no middleman, which means the only fee you pay is the fee for sending Bitcoin.  Any one can create a project, regardless of what it is.  The only factor that decides on if a project is successful or not are the people, it uses a all or nothing funding model.  So the project is either fully funded or its not funded.  Once the funding goal is reached, money can be withdrawn from the projects wallet.  Until the money is withdraw from the projects wallet, any pledge can be withdrawn.  Also you can run a project without a third-party file, all you would need is to download the project file and distribute it to people.


I really like the idea behind Lighthouse, there have been many times where I have wanted to start a crowdfunding project but was afraid it wouldn’t be funded.  This makes it quite easy to start a project, it could be a very small amount to a large amount; the choice is yours.

 

USB armory

USB armory is an open source usb device created by Inversepath.  It is a small but powerful and has  a huge amount of features.  It is planned to delivered by the end of 2014, for a price near 100 Euros.  I would love to see where this project goes, especially as it has so many tools.  It’s like a security experts dream tool.

  • Mass storage with encryption,virus scanning, host authentication and self destruct data
  • OpenSSH client
  • Router for end to end tunneling, Tor
  • A password manager
  • Bitcoin wallet
  • Portable penetration tools
  • USB security testing.
Size Comparison

 

HW-1 by BTChip

I recently received a HW-1 Bitcoin hardware wallet, HW-1 is a smart card hardware wallet created by BTChip.  So far using it has been a blast and I can sleep in peace knowing that my Bitcoins are a lot safer.  The HW-1 chip setup is friendly to use just follow the instructions provided by BTChip.  Currently the HW-1 is compatible with GreenAddress  and the soon to be released Electrum 2.0.  The HW-1 chip works really well with GreenAddress , all I had to do was plug in the HW-1 and Greenaddress recognized it.

The Design

The HW-1 chip came in small envelope, inside were the two HW-1 chips and instructions on how to set it up (now there is a promotional sale – 2 for the price of 1).  I love the design of the HW-1 chip and you can tell that someone has put a lot of work into it.  The chip comes inside of a larger card that is the size of a credit card, which you pop the chip out of.  I can picture the card being sold at stores or given out at conferences to help make the Bitcoin world more secure (which would be awesome).


Setup

Once you have prepared the HW-1 chip, download the drivers (I didn’t need to but every computer is different), next install GreenAddress from the Chrome Store  and finally create an account.  Once you plugin the  HW-1 chip GreenAddress will recognize it, here is a video tutorial of how to set it up.  On a side note there are two ways to set up your HW-1, one is to write the mnemonic phrase to the HW-1 (the simple method) and the other method offers more security (while being a little harder to set up).  In the pictures below I used the simple method, the more complex version only requires you to plug the HW-1 into another computer and record the seed.

Inserting the BTChip
Inserting the BTChip
Success
Success
Mnemonic Phrase
The Mnemonic Phrase
Success
Success
The Login page with BTChip
The Login page with BTChip

 The Verdict

I really enjoy using the HW-1 chip, its easy and quick to use without sacrificing a lot of security.  At the time of this post you can get two HW-1 chip for 25.25$, 20 € and of course 0.0698 Bitcoins, which is a great deal.   I find that the budget friendly pricing is key to the HW-1 chip as it allows anyone to easily keep their Bitcoins secure without burning a whole in their wallet.  And if you don’t need the extra chip you can always give the extra chip to a friend and help him securely use Bitcoin.  If you need a budget friendly secure way to keep your Bitcoins safe then take a look at the HW-1 chip.  If you have any questions that were not answered by this post feel free to contact me, you can also contact the BTChip Team here.

Greenaddress

Greenaddress.it is a web-based Bitcoin wallet.  I usually dislike web wallets because most of them have poor security or you don’t have true control over your Bitcoins.  But some web-wallets have features that allow you to recover your Bitcoins if they shut down.  Greenaddress has a lot of features that make using their wallet a lot safer to use.  As always when it comes to passwords, make sure you don’t pick something easy to crack as usually passwords are the weakest link.  Of all the web-based wallets, Greenaddress stands out the most because of its many secure features integrated with a friendly and easy to use interface.

  • Always available as you can login from the client or web browser
  • Two factor authentication to prevent unauthorized transactions
  • Transaction limits/restriction
  • Mnemonic seed – all you have to do is write down a lot of words and you can recover you wallet easily
  • Secure private keys – your private keys are never uploaded to their servers
  • No delay time which means its easy and quick to use
  • A quick access pin that makes login easy to use, and its also secure – 3 wrong attempts and the pin is wiped and you need the Mnemonic seed to login
  • By far my favorite feature is that you can use a USB smartcard called HW.1 with Greenaddress to make your wallet even more secure
  • And their nLockTime prevents you from losing your Bitcoins if they shutdown

The Verdict

I enjoy using Greenaddress to store my Bitcoins, Greenaddress is a great way to securely store your Bitcoins while having them easily accessible.  I use Greenadress with the HW-1 smart card to add an extra layer of security, I recently wrote a review about the HW-1 smart card.  If you’re new to Bitcoin or an expert Greenaddress can make your life a lot easier.

The Send Money Page
Where you Send Money 
The Receive Money Page
Where you Receive Money 
Transactions page
The Transactions page
The Login screen
The Login screen